Mandi (HP), Mar 12 (PTI) The famous Swarnim International Shivratri Fair began on Friday with Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur formally launching it at the historic Paddal ground here.
Earlier, the Chief Minister paid obeisance at the temple of principal deity Madho Rai and then participated in the traditional 'Jaleb', Shobha Yatra, which started from Shri Raj Madhav Rai temple and culminated at Paddal ground.
Thousands of people dressed in their traditional attire participated in the procession carrying their local deities by dancing all the way up to Paddal ground. Over 150 deities participated in the 'Jaleb', the traditional Shobha Yatra from almost all parts of the district.
Earlier, the Chief Minister participated in the Pagri ceremony and performed puja at Shri Raj Madhav Rai Temple.
While addressing the people at the historic Paddal ground, the Chief Minister said that fairs and festivals were an integral part of the rich cultural repository of the state and should be celebrated in a befitting manner.
Thakur said the district administration has been directed to ensure adequate arrangements for the people accompanying the deities.
Later, he inaugurated the exhibition at Paddal ground set up by various departments, boards and corporation and evinced keen interest in the exhibition.
Thakur also inaugurated Saras Mela on the occasion.
The Chief Minister released a colourful souvenir on Swarnim International Shivratri Fair and a title cover of CD bhajans sung by Anand Kumar. PTI CORR DJI HDA